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Sunday, September 02, 2012


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My first "real time" episode, and I am happy to say that I learned a few things that didn't know. Firstly, the Lord Chancellor's wool sack. Looking at the photo you've posted above, it looks more like something that a Grand Vizier would recline across in Topkapi Palace, while entertaining a wife and eating a grape. I don't suppose that sort of thing happens in the House of Lords.

Secondly, the latrine tower. While it is inevitable that sanitation had to be taken care of *somehow*, the pitiful amount of history that I studied in school extended little beyond "colour in this diagram of the feudal pyramid and dress up as a knight". No one thought to teach me about the nitty gritty of castle life. Or nitty grotty, as the case may be.

Anyway, my curiosity got the better of me and google, and I found a great picture of a latrine tower at Skipness Castle:


The mental image of this being used is truly horrifying.

The History of England

Hi Dan

I loved the picture ! As you say, a really nasty thought...and where, I wonder did it all go? Into the moat? The smell....
Yes, I think the woolsack thing is an absolute hoot. I'm trying to visualise the conversation between two sober faced magnates:
1-er..we need a new chair for the Chancellor you know
2-oh dear, those things cost a fortune, do you think he'd put up with a stool?
1-well, I was at my brother's farm the other day. We were messing around on his woolsacks. They were really fun, and really squashy and comfy.
2-Yay! Great idea! Then after we've given the king a beating we can have a bit of a bounce! Or a big pillow fight!

Matt, NL

Though it is still a rather long time from the era you're discussing now, I hope you will pay some attention to the machinations of Edward I in the Low Countries, among them his actions that led to the assassination of our beloved count of Holland: Floris V in 1296.

Anyway, keep up the great work, I was waiting for another great installment of this podcast, and You provided :p

The History of England

Hi Matt

That's very exciting. I have just read a book on E1, which represented Floris's claim to the Scottish throne as a bit eccentric. So fascinating to see there's a back story. I feel a digression coming on! I shall definitely cover it - any local colour you could provide would be grand.

Matt, NL

That's cool David, looking forward to that. I don't really have any 'local colour' to add to it sadly, except that Floris is the son of the only Dutch Holy Roman King (William II, who was killed by Frisians) and he's famous for expanding the County of Holland at their expense.

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